'Fear Street' Was Created As An F-You To Another Author

R.L. Stine made millions off of one editor’s grudge.
'Fear Street' Was Created As An F-You To Another Author

In an attempt to corner the “adaptations of books you read under the covers of a bunk bed while listening to Color Me Badd” market, Netflix is in the midst of releasing an entire trilogy of Fear Street movies. Based on the popular R.L. Stine series of horror novels for young adults from the ‘80s and ‘90s, the first entry, Fear Street Part 1: 1994, featured a band of teens defending themselves from a horde of necromanced baddies while listening to songs that in no way existed in 1994.

While Fear Street Part 2: 1978 dropped today and Fear Street Part 3: 1666 hits next week.

Amazingly, this pillar of horror nostalgia was borne purely out of good old-fashioned spite. According to Stine, it wasn’t actually his idea to write a crap-ton of books about evil stepsisters or denim-clad ghosts or a mysterious cult that wants to murder undercover FBI parents (spoiler alert for a thirty-year-old teen paperback). In the ‘80s, Stine was busy editing a humor magazine and taking odd writing jobs such as penning the novelization for Spaceballs. According to Stine, he happened to be having lunch with an editor friend who just had a “big fight” with Christopher Pike, that other famous YA horror author. If you thought Fear Street was intense, one of Pike’s books involved teens murdering each other with strychnine-laced cocaine.

Fed up with Pike for some reason and refusing to ever work with him again, the editor suggested that R.L. Stine should write some teen horror books for her instead, even giving him the title for his first scary story, Blind Date. That tale became part of the Point Horror series that paved the way for Fear Street just a few years later. It feels like a phony scene written for an R.L. Stine biopic, but he really had his career path handed to him at a random meal. Don’t feel too bad for Christopher Pike, though; he, too, is getting his own Netflix series. Hopefully, this trend will inspire Disney to make a big-budget adaptation of those Star Wars books where teens battle cannibal swamp monsters alongside Boba Fett.

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter! And check out the podcast Rewatchability.

Top Image: Netflix

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